Detroit: City on the Move
- Publication date
- Public Domain
- Digitizing sponsor
- Detroit (City of)
worth noting: Nice nighttime aerial shots of Detroit in the beginning.
¥ 3:08:72- 3:17:45
Aerial view of complex highway system (comprised largely of overpasses and underpasses). Cars occupy every part of the system.
¥ 5:22:52- 5:45:47
Camera starts with view of a downtown street where a bus and some cars go by. It then pans up a tall, wide office buildingÑa hideous early sixties structure. Cut to a frontal view of the building.
¥ 5:46:04- 5:56:38
Excellent pan of a "modern," urban school situated near large office buildings. Children walk by the single level structure.
¥ 6:10:81- 6:27:49
Driving POV through several affluent Detroit residential neighborhoods.
¥ 10:10:79- 10:18:20
Pan of Wayne State University's(?) enormous, brown hospital and the road beside it. It looks like a prison.
¥ 10:59:98- 11:14:50
Montage of crowds walking on downtown side walks. Mostly white people but some African-Americans.
¥ 13:01:59- 13:11:34
Aerial pan of "Detroit industry"Ñbillowing smoke pollutes the air. This looks like an enormous industrial plant of some kind. It lies by the river.
¥ 13:12:42- 13:45:35
Montage of Detroit's industry. Start with an image of a parking lot outside of an auto plant, cut to excellent image of cars going towards the Chrysler plant (there's a huge CHRYSLER sign), cut to a view of the General Motors building (nice sign on the top of the building), cut to quick pan of an industrial plant, cut to several images of slicker, cleaner industrial buildings, cut to several shots of industrial warehouses, and finally cut to the Ford building.
¥ 14:06:22- 14:26:59
A car passes a sign for the Metropolitan Beach. Cut to an image of the beach, and then to an several overviews of many people on it.
¥ 14:27:71- 14:35:11
Nice view (from behind the front seat of a convertible where three people sit) of the entrance for the Detroit Zoo. We approach the large entrance where there are information booths.
¥ 14:55:73- 15:03:65
Excellent image of crowds of children playing in a public swimming pool. The camera pulls back to offer a wider view ÑAfrican-American children cluster together towards the front of the poll.
DETROIT MICHIGAN CITIES DOWNTOWNS URBANIZATION URBAN PROBLEMS ECONOMICS MIDWEST GREAT LAKES INDUSTRY
- Closed captioning
- United States
- Run time
Subject: Beautiful Musical Score!
Subject: Interesting flick
Subject: Big City Safe City 1965
Subject: A Dying City
Whenever one party has entrenched control for generations, with a hefty dose of racism on all sides, you get Beirut, no, I'm sorry, Detroit.
Subject: Response to Kerryman comments
Subject: Mayor Jerry's Detroit
What is ironic to me is the fact that blacks rioted in Detroit (in 1967) only after high-paying jobs at the car factories were becoming available.
The destruction of the city has many causes, to be sure, but until the Black community stands up and takes responsibility for fatherless families and all the social ills that attend, we're spitting into the wind.
Sure, our neighborhood was "block busted," and, sure, you could say that fleeing the city had only one cause -- racial. But, who among you wouldn't take action to preserve family wealth if you were convincingly told that your most important asset (your family home) was about to become worthless?
The steely-eyed, amoral Black social structure that rules the streets of Detroit will assure that the city wallows in misery for another hundred years.
My whole life was wrecked by the destruction of my neighborhood. My life was almost taken by street thugs. My family is shocked when I tell them I'm from Detroit.
Subject: ....And Just Who....
Subject: Propaganda on the move
Boy, times have changed....um..or have they ?
Subject: A Reputation as a "Rough Town"
Subject: Next time, get a better narrator!
While Jerome Cavanaugh was not a bad guy, narration was not his strong suit. I don't know if it was his idea to narrate, or if that came from Handy.
Great shots of Detroit during the mid-Sixties, though, before everything went to hell.
Subject: A Scribble Folly
Interestingly you mention "white history" as a culprit......What about "BET" television? Your tone and being specific to solely one side is equally as amusing and does nothing but contribute to what you criticize.
Subject: A Sad State of Affairs
Subject: Funny Film
Subject: The Folly of Urban Planning
I had a quick visit to the amusing link you provided in your review (white-history), it amazes me that despite the mountains of evidence provided by science to the contrary, there are still those who insist on separating humanity into self-emerged "races" rather than recognizing the fact that we all share a common ancestry, directly traceable to the African continent.
Whatever differences we have are a result of cultural development that occurred in separation, this isolation has virtually disappeared in the age of globalization, but it will take some time before we recognize our common humanity and hopefully transcend our tribal nature, sites like "white-history" do nothing to contribute to this goal that is truly central to our survival.
The film was quite good as well...more well intentioned mis-steps that we can all learn from.
Subject: "Modernity," "Progress," and Other Disastrous Concepts
This video provides a neat and concise overview of the catastrophically destructive city-planning of the postwar era, visited not only upon Detroit but upon almost every major American city. This vision for planning centered around several key components: the subservience of the city to the needs of the automobile, the rejection of fine-grained urban fabric in favor of massive glass-and-concrete towers set in open areas, and above all, a worshipful attitude toward "progress" and "modernity" which entailed a complete rejection of the ideas, traditions and styles of the past. Driving all the destruction was a quasi-totalitarian planning board salivating over the prospect of federal highway and urban renewal funds.
It is this ideology that is responsible for this 1965 video, in which the filmmakers happily focus the camera on massive highway interchanges and profoundly unattractive architecture which the Mayor tells us -- with apparent sincerity -- is "creating a new image of beauty and function." Notably absent are any images of Detroit's historic, pre-war neighborhoods. The only exception is the Disneyland-like tourist village, confirming the impression that in this "modern" Detroit, the only permissible remnants of the past will be those kept as museum pieces.
Tall new office towers are praised simply for being tall and new, as though that alone was sufficient justification for their existence. In the new Detroit, the mayor boasts, children will be sent to "the most modern of schools," as though the grim, dark and depressing one-story schoolhouse shown in the video will somehow help to educate Detroit's children in a way that the distinguished neo-Gothic, Classical and Romanesque revival buildings of the pre-1945 period could not.
Also notable is the reference to the so-called slums: as the Mayor puts it, "the ugliness, the poverty and sickness of slums." These defects have been remedied, the Mayor assures us, by clearing the slums. Now, certainly it should have occurred to someone in city government that a building cannot be poor, nor can a building really be sick -- these are characteristics of people, not structures. The only remaining characteristic, ugliness, is rather subjective whether applied to people or architecture, and cannot be grounds for condemnation for a building in any event. Yet the Major proclaims all these problems magically solved by the demolition of entire "slum" neighborhoods.
But enough. The video is a catalogue of urban failure, delivered in a naive and optimistic tone that seems almost incredible today (I will not even touch the racial angle, which others have talked about). The damage done by the planners alone will take decades to undo. But for now, visit the web page of Wayne State University, which appears in the video. Their homepage features students not in front of the 1960s-era buildings from the film, but rather a handsome brick and limestone hall from the early 20th century. Appreciation for the architecture and planning of the past, which this country so inexcusably and callously discarded in the 1950s and 1960s, has at last returned and is helping to reinvigorate inner-city neighborhoods through private renovation and reinvestment of historic structures, rather than demolition and destruction. Meanwhile, videos like this should be required viewing for all urban planning students -- as a lesson in the dangers of hubris, and the importance of humility.
Subject: The beginning of the end.
And Frequency, the fact that disgusting white elites decided to level certain neighborhoods barely gives reason to the dystopian state that Detroit has turned itself into. And I'm not ashamed to say this is only due to the steady influx of the black population. To this day, white homes get bulldozed as well (because of renewal programs and newly legislated zoning laws) but I've yet to see their response by means of rioting and violence.
This is just the icing on the cake. You can read more about it here:
Also, here is an interesting "photographic essay" on Detroit's ruins:
Subject: I Knew the Writer
Three years later, when the riots and National Guard response changed our perceptions of Detroit, our naiveté had gone missing.
The aguments about what percentage of the population was white or black goes nowhere until you notice that these numbers change radically in a matter of a few months. Most of those who could afford to, moved to a nearby suburb. It's not that this wasn't already a trend for the prior decade, but there was a... punctuated equilibrium in 1967.
If you'd looked at the various populations in the Detroit metropolitan areas, you'll see all the same people, in the same ratios, just living further apart.
By 1978, I'd moved back into detroit, which was still devistated and had a little further to fall, at that point. But it was cheap, convenient, and multicultural. I was living a somewhat tarnished version of Bob Casemore's dream for Detroiters.
Bottom line: This film is not so much a white-wash, as it is the hopeful world-view of a well meaning and good-hearted writer. It just sounds suspect, when spoken by Detroit's Mayor, Jerry Cavenough. Another friend of my father's, Loren Estleman, wrote a book about Detroit, Mayor Cavenuagh, and this period of time called Stress. See: http://www.twbookmark.com/books/79/0446403679/
Subject: Review and response
That said, Slang, I was appalled at your comment of "accurate". I did not take an official count, but it appeared that roughly one out of ten participants in the film were non-white. Most often, these were black people filmed walking in crowds. Detroit was to become a majority black city by the early 1970s, but it's proportion of blacks had already swelled to 35% by 1965, (44% just 5 years later) far higher than the proportion of blacks shown in the film. Therefore, the film is *far* from an accurate portrayal of the population of the city. As for the "distain" that you mention, it's clear that you are disdainful of Detroit in it's current vestige and not disdainful of 1965 Detroit. I won't speculate on the reasons for your opinion, but I would point out that the behavior of white elites (both locally and nationally) in the 1950s and 1960s was indeed disgusting. Detroit's most notable example was the destruction of Paradise Valley by highway construction, "urban renewal", and other projects sold to well-meaning ignorant liberals by venemous racists. One such liberal, the mayor, mentions the "condeming and clearing" of a neighborhood for construction of the DMC in the film. The ignorant might ask, "Gee whiz, why can't those blacks stay in their neighborhoods?" Oh yeah! The government bulldozed their houses and businesses!
Again, the piece is fascinating, but it is best watched with "accurate" knowledge of Detroit's history.
Subject: Remember the city, date....
DSKruse I think you are letting your distain for the Detroit of today cloud your memory of Detroit then.
Fantasic movie, real treat.
Subject: Detroit: It's many secrets..
Subject: Not quite the Detroit I remembered...
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